There was an amazing tasting in London last week of pinot noir going back to 1990 from New Zealand’s Rippon Vineyard – a gorgeous place, judging by the pictures, which I keep staring at – the blue of that lake, the snow on the ridge, it all gives you such a lift. I’ve written about it for the Telegraph – here – but what I didn’t mention was that, after the actual taste of the wines, I think my favourite moment was when the very lovely, gently-spoken ski-champion-turned-winemaker Nick Mills was telling the story of how his dad came back to the family farm and had a bit of a laddish moment:
Nick: When Rolfe [Mills, Nick’s father] got together with his second wife Lois he was 46, she was 21.
[pause as tasters absorb information]
Nick: Eh. How about that? 46. 21. Pretty cool, eh?
Fellow taster who shall remain nameless: [very crisply] Not. Necessarily.
The wine is really fabulous – one of the best I have tasted from New Zealand. It has all the magic that people talk about when they fall in love with pinot noir. If you would like your own piece of this beautiful place and its equally soulful wine, try the Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009 Central Otago (£34.95, Lea & Sandeman). It really sweeps you off your feet. Much as Rolfe must have done Lois. Pretty cool, eh? (Sorry Nick, couldn’t resist).